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Talliston Shadow Boxes

Exclusive limited edition miniature cabinets of all the house and gardens' curiosities  

As frequent guests know, Talliston isn’t just about the rooms but also about embracing the skills, arts and crafts in creating extraordinary objects within its fantastical interiors. Each and every item we create reflects the spirit and themes of the house and gardens.


The latest addition to that list is an exclusive set of shadow boxes, embodying, in miniature, all the rooms and elements of the house. Painstakingly created over many hours, each Shadow Box is a unique, handcrafted piece of art incorporating seven rooms representing all that is best about the house and gardens.


Room #1: The Attic: The Moon, Sun & Stars (The Other World)
The entire universe outside of us visualised as a celestial night sky


Room #2: The Air Room: Butterfly
Transforming: Creative Focus on Producing Not Consuming


Room #3: The Fire Room: Bumblebee
Challenging: Encourage Continuous Improvement


Room #4: The Earth Room: Oak
Inspirational: Ideas for Building a Better 'Now'


Room #5: The Water Room: Labyrinth
Magical: Pursuit of Dreams & Adventures


Room #6: The Shadow Room
The Secret Lies Within: With Inner Belief We Can All Achieve Extraordinary Things


Room #7: The World Tree (The Known World)
Our entire life as visualised as a tree of roots, trunk and branches

Browse our showcase of the craftsmanship of the Talliston Shadow Boxes 





Yours to own for only £95.00 + p&p

Please specify which Shadow Box
you desire by specifying its number
or butterfly at checkout 




Constructing the Talliston Shadow Boxes

Just some of the many stages undertaken in creating just one of these unique and exclusive pieces of art.

Each Talliston Shadow Box comes with an illuminated verse of protection on the reverse of the main cabinet.



The first stage was to stain the wooden boxes. For this we used the same colour as the carved wooden panels in The Boathouse. Once this was done the first room was the attic. This represents celestial sky, both day and night, and uses Baroque purple wallpaper and black painted interior. We then filled the space with bronze stars and finished off with a sun-moon centre piece.



For the Earth room we lined the walls with textured paper, then created a tiny set of silver birch tree trunks, painted ghost white (just like the full-sized counterparts in The Starhouse). We finished off the forest by fronting with a giant acorn in its cup (another of the house leitmotifs). Water was represented by a stone hallway reminiscent of The Hall of Mirrors, hung with a framed miniature painting of Hieronymus Bosch’s Ship of Fools.


Upon the individually cut black and white tiled flooring sits a large cockle shell. Upon a field of green baize, a feather winged butterfly is displayed for the Air room, while the Fire room features a hand-sewn cushion of rustic fabric, inset with a bronze bumblebee and framed by clock cogs and wheels.


The central binding element in the house is shadow and this room was lined with the Watchtower velvet fabric and swathed in antique black lace. Representing the labyrinth of the house, the Shadow room holds a red and gold talisman with an offering of semi precious stones before it.



Backed by a seafaring chart behind the crossed sword design brass grillwork inspired by the Haunted Bedroom radiators, the World Tree is constructed with fragments of oak tree, wire and covered in clay. The final tree is painted and adorned with blossoms. Once this was done we added final touches such as the bunting and moss to complete the entire shadow box. Also, each shadow box has a singular found object that makes it unique from all the others. We have added thimbles, gem earrings and even a silver ring. All of these were discovered on our travels, lost by former occupants and now preserved forever in our dioramas.

Lots more items available!

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© Photography: GilesG Photography/Gavin Conlan   

Great Dunmow, Essex, England

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